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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

December 31, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – After shaking off some of the Christmas rust with a pair of practice scrimmages against the Simon Fraser Clan Tuesday and the UBC Okanagan Heat Wednesday, the UVic Vikes men’s basketball team got back into game mode on Thursday afternoon with a 70-80 exhibition win over the Heat at the CARSA Gym at the University of Victoria.

UVic’s Grant Sitton (right) would score 21 points to lead the Vikes to a 80-70 win over the UBC Okanagan Heat Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN) 

The Vikes had little trouble with the Heat on the day, overcoming an early 7-2 deficit to hold a 25-13 lead after the first quarter and did not trail the rest of the game. That early comeback was thanks in large part to the shooting of Grant Sitton, who finished the quarter with nine points and who would score 21 points on the day to lead all UVic scorers.

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While the Heat’s Dan Johnston (right) heads to the floor, UVic’s Reiner Theil (left) looks for a way past Heat defender Mitchell Goodwin (11) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN) 

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UVic’s Jordan Charles (10) heads up for two of his five points in Thursday’s win over the Heat (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN) 

The Heat would regroup a bit in the second quarter to trail 44-33 at the half, but an 18-9 run by the Vikes in the third extended the lead to 62-42 after three.

In the fourth, the Heat would once again see a resurgence and outscore the Vikes 28-18 – thanks largely to an incredible performance from guard Aldrich Berrios who would score all 22 of his points in the frame – to cut the final deficit down to ten.

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UVic’s Justin Kinnear (11) is surrounded by a trio of Heat defenders as he tries to find a path to the basket during the first half on Thursday. Kinnear would finish with five points for the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN) 

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UBC Okanagan’s Cameron Friesen (right) and UVic’s Taylor Montgomery-Stinson (left) battle for position under the boards (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN) 

In addition to Sitton’s 21 points, UVic’s Mack Roth (with 16 points), Josh Charles (with 13) and Reiner Theil (with 11) all reached double figures for the Vikes.

Berrios led all scorers with his 22 points, while Heat teammates Cameron Servatius and Mitchell Goodwin added 12 and nine points respectively in the losing effort.

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UBC Heat’s Cameron Servatius (left) and UVic’s Reiner Theil (right) battle to chase down a loose ball during the second half Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN) 

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UVic’s Joshua Charles (8) goes up for a pair of his 13 points against the Heat on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN) 

The Vikes will resume Canada West regular season action on Friday and Saturday Jan. 8 and 9 when the University of Manitoba Bisons venture to CARSA. Game time on Friday the 8th is scheduled for 8:00 pm, while tip-off on the 9th goes at 7:00 pm.

See the full set of images from this game at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p453024415